The Sunday News
Munyaradzi Musiiwa, Midlands Correspondent
SEVEN people from Gokwe including two children drowned in Mudzongwe River in Mudzongwe village under Chief Njelele within a space of three days, Midlands Civil Protection Unit has confirmed.
Four women from Mudzongwe village under Chief Njelele in Gokwe South drowned on Tuesday while trying to cross a flooded Mudzongwe River and another man from the same village drowned on the same day while coming from Gokwe.
Minister of State for Provincial Affairs for Midland Province Cde Jason Machaya, who is part of the Midlands CPU confirmed the incidents saying two other children from Mukwiri village drowned on Sunday while their mother was working in the fields.
He said five people, three women and two men, from Bariwa village under Chief Njelele were marooned while they were working in the fields following the incessant rains.
“I can confirm that seven people have drowned in Mudzongwe River since Sunday following a heavy downpour that left the river flooding. Four women drowned on Tuesday while on their way to Gokwe Town while another man drowned while trying to cross the flooded river after receiving his fertiliser under the Presidential Input Support Scheme. I am also informed that five people have also been marooned in Bariwa village but a helicopter was sent to rescue them,” he said.
Minister Machaya said the Midlands CPU has secured food and clothes for more than 100 villagers under Chief Sayi in Gokwe South who were last week left homeless after close to 20 homes were swept away by the incessant rains, while hundreds of livestock were also killed by floods that hit the area last week. He said the rains have also destroyed some of the crop in the area.
“I received a report last week that there were 16 households that were destroyed by the incessant rains under Chief Sayi in Gokwe South. We are still compiling information to find out how many people were affected. I am informed that the situation on the ground is terrible and the livestock were also killed by the rains,” he said.
Minister Machaya said the incessant rains also left a trail of destruction in Zhombe where they washed away Mayoka Dam wall which was supplying water to a 70 hectare irrigation scheme.
“In Zhombe we have a dam wall which was also washed away following the incessant rains. The dam was irrigating more than 70 ha under Mayoka Irrigation Scheme,” he said.
Minister Machaya said a full assessment of the province on the infrastructure including schools, dams, bridges and houses that was destroyed by the rains, was still to be conducted.